4 min read
What is Blue Monday?
There’s no positive way to put it but Blue Monday is often called the most miserable day of the year. The idea was first suggested in 2005 by Dr Cliff Arnall, a researcher at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, who created a calculation to work out the day of the year when people are most likely to be unhappy. His calculations focused on factors like when people got paid when the bills were due and seasonal considerations like the weather, daylight etc and time until Christmas. According to the formula, the most gloomy day of the year for people was the third Monday of January, which this year will be the 21st.
Now as many professional statisticians and mathematicians will attest, the formula isn’t perhaps the most scientific, however, the day has taken hold in the public consciousness, with many people and media outlets marking the day every year. It can certainly be argued that at this time of year with the cold wet weather, the fact that Christmas is now well and truly behind us, not to mention the arrival of the credit card bills from the holidays, there are some accurate assumptions made in the original theory.
How to beat Blue Monday and Stay Positive
Keeping with the spirit of Dr Arnall’s original idea to find positive moments at the gloomiest of times here are a few ways to try and beat the Blue Monday negativity. Hopefully to make the day a more upbeat and positive time despite the weather and fatigue from going back to work and school.
It may already be one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019, but there is no doubting the mood-boosting effects of exercise. It doesn’t have to be much. Perhaps spend a few minutes jogging or cycling, or if you prefer to keep it indoors and calmer try some yoga or pilates to get your blood flowing.
Let Nature Inspire You
There are a few ways to do this. First of all, if you feel up to braving the weather, go out and take a walk in a local park or forest and try to give yourself a moment of peace to really appreciate the beauty all around you. Alternatively, if you want to stay out of the cold, you can take advantage of the magic of flowers and plants in your home. Research has shown that a few well-placed flowers and plants around the home can do wonders for your mood and can help you beat the worst effects of Blue Monday.
Treat Yourself or Someone You Love
Never underestimate the power of a little self-care. Taking a little bit of time out for yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed can really help you to slow down and recenter yourself. Alternatively, another good idea could be to treat someone else you care about. Studies have shown that random acts of kindness can really improve your mood and help you feel better. Perhaps this Blue Monday you might want to surprise someone close to you with a good deed like making them dinner or sending them flowers.
It’s all too tempting to want to indulge in some of the leftover Christmas chocolate or to order a take away rather than cooking yourself when you’re feeling down. However, this may only make you feel worse in the short term. Now a small amount of chocolate can help although try to choose a variety with low sugar and high cacao content for the best pick me up. The best foods to eat when you’re feeling sad are high in vitamins, omega 3 and folates. We’ve found a few ideas for recipes that are full of ingredients that contain these elements and should help you defeat Blue Monday with ease.
However, you spend Blue Monday this year be sure to try and keep positive and forget about some of the negativity that will inevitably arise so soon after the winter festivities and during the darkest and coldest time of the year. Follow our tips and hopefully, you can reclaim Blue Monday and make it a beautiful day.
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